LAKEWOOD, Colo. – The search is on to find the driver responsible for hitting a pedestrian in Lakewood and then running from the scene – this is one of two fatal collisions involving pedestrians in the last 24 hours.
29-year-old Jonathon Furley was struck by a car and died Saturday night at Colfax and Benton in Lakewood. His aunt tells FOX31 Jon was a wonderful man. The family is in disbelief that the driver hit him and is still on the run from police. The recent auto-pedestrian deaths all happening along Colfax.
“The people who died this weekend, they’re not going to see their families for Christmas. That’s a tragedy. Every fatality on our roadway is a tragedy,” Jack Todd, Communications and Policy Manager with Bicycle Colorado said.
Furley’s family says he was willing to help anyone, even if he was in need.
Initially Lakewood Police attempted to pull the driver of a Silver Ford Fusion over at 7:00 p.m. Saturday night near West Colfax Ave. and Lamar Street, when the adult male suspect took off at a high rate of speed. Investigators say the police officer shut off the overhead emergency lights when the suspect too off. Police say the suspect struck Furley as he was jaywalking in the area of Colfax and Benton Street. The suspect continued driving until he crashed near the 7-Eleven and ran off.
Within that same time frame, there was another deadly vehicle pedestrian crash. This one occurred along East Colfax and Laredo Street in Aurora. Police say the adult male pedestrian died at the scene. His identity has not been released. The driver stayed on scene and officers say speed is being investigated as a factor.
Then just last week, a grandmother was killed while walking across Colfax just a block from where Jon Furley died. Denver District Attorney Beth McCann filed charges Monday against 39-year-old Juan Sanchez in connection with the hit-and-run accident that killed her. Sanchez is being charged with leaving the scene of an accident involving death and with vehicular homicide
“We’re nearing 70 fatalities on our roadways in Denver this year. That’s 70 too many,” Todd said.
Todd is part of an advocacy organization, committed to finding ways to reduce deaths on our streets. He says it’s telling these recent crashes happened on Colfax. They consider it a high-speed corridor.
“Colfax in Denver is part of the high injury network. Which is the 5 percent of roads that make up 50 percent of our crashes, Federal Boulevard, Colorado Boulevard are also part.”
Todd wants everyone to take accountability. He’s pushing for change in both infrastructure and driver awareness.
“As a city, as a state we need to implement infrastructure projects that slow people down that discourage people from driving carelessly – so that when a mistake is made, it isn’t a fatal one.”
Furley’s family has set up a gofundme to help pay for funeral expenses.